Soft Surroundings: Killin’ It With Superlative Customer Service, Cultivating Brand Affinity

When I see examples of customer service excellence, I am compelled to evangelize. Today’s post is a shout-out to retailer Soft Surroundings. They are killin’ it with superior customer service. If you’re a female or transgender unfamiliar with Soft Surroundings women’s clothing, pour yourself a “covfefe” and read on. Soft Surroundings sells some of the softest and most beautifully feminine clothing on the planet–and lovely home interior items as well. The catalog photo shoots create that sense of aspiration–imaginative, always set against an exotic backdrop. Their clothing items include a “Cloud Rating.” If an item has two clouds, look out–you’re buying clothing as soft on your skin as a baby’s onesie, warm out of the dryer, freshly tumbled in fragrant fabric softener sheets. And those two little clouds (“heavenly soft”) are what prompted me to order my second Soft Surroundings Toujours jumpsuit in black–since I wear my comfy gray Toujours pajamas, er, jumpsuit, way too often.

 

The Soft Surroundings Rating System. Genius!

Screenshot 2017-06-01 09.56.17

My family has tired of seeing me wear this ALL.THE.TIME. So I bought ANOTHER one!

My friend and sometimes client, Hollywood’s Guru of Hue JillKirshColor.com would scold me for wearing gray and black–colors that don’t complement me–but I follow her advice and break it up with bold jewelry in reds or teals. (Jill has sold some of her items in the Soft Surroundings catalog before, too.) Side bar: Here’s Jill Kirsh’s advice on what “warm blondes” should wear:

Jill Kirsh – Hollywood’s Guru of Hue advising “warm blondes” on the right colors to wear. Check out her YouTube Channel, too! https://www.youtube.com/user/JKColor

It was April 30th. I was driving to chocolatier Annie Shea’s to meet a friend for covfefe, and even though the South Barrington Arboretum’s Soft Surroundings store was a brisk walk away, I was in a huge hurry. I dared not enter, since that is my time vampire, second only to Barnes & Noble. (Like UFO abductees, I’ve had episodes of unexplained missing time after entering Barnes & Noble stores.) My $20 Soft Surroundings birthday coupon was burning a hole in my wallet, and I was mere hours away from its expiration. I called the store while literally driving right past it, described exactly what I wanted, and the velvety-voiced woman on the phone took care of every last detail. When my package arrived, this (photo below) was inside. Robin Sheldon, the Soft Surroundings founder, gets the value of a thoughtful, handwritten note. Yes, I know it’s actually printed–probably in a Robin’s handwriting-generated font–but it still gave me the warm fuzzies. Someone in shipping took the time to affix that fancy pants sticker onto the tissue paper in which my item was gently wrapped. In my cerebral cinema, the shipper was an albino virgin donned in soft chamois gloves, working diligently on a tropical beach somewhere, under the light of a reflective full moon. Soft Surroundings is just that special. Like Marshall Field’s used to make me feel, back in the day. (Yes, I’m still bitter about Macy’s.)

Those account-based marketing peeps in the B2B world would do well to parrot the strategies of Robin and her team. If this blog accomplishes nothing else, I hope you check out Soft Surroundings. They deserve your business. And you’d do well to add a splash of Jill Kirsh Color into your wardrobe as well!

All of that bloggy build-up leads to this: The great reveal!

This is Branding 101…creating brand affinity via thoughtful details that feel customized and personal.

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